Special Edition! Important Information!

By September 4, 2020 September 6th, 2020 Around the Area, Arts, Education

ArtsAltoona Learning Pods – Stepping Up to Meet a Community Need

Our founder George Sackandy kept hearing about parents of junior high students desperate to find a safe environment for their children while the parents went to work, and, George being George, said to himself “what can ArtsAltoona do about this? We have a large space in the lower level of the education building of the ArtsAltoona Center (2212 Sixth Ave in Altoona) with tables and chairs, a kitchen, and restrooms, let’s find a way to meet this need.” The ArtsAltoona Leadership Team and Board have agreed to proceed.

We are pleased to announce that we will have ArtsAltoona Learning Pods beginning for the first day of “virtual” classes for students in the Altoona Area School District. All of the secondary students at AASD are having all virtual classes for at least the first marking period this fall. All students will be provided with a Chromebook by the district to access their classes online.

There are a significant number of working parents who do not have family or friends that can help their 6th, 7th and 8th grade students get online, make sure they are connected, participate in their class and then make sure that they get their homework accomplished in a safe, COVID cautious environment.

We anticipate having up to 3 pods of 15 students each, depending on the demand. Each pod will be in a separate building space. A room monitor will make sure that spacial distancing and sanitizing is maintained, that students are logged on and participating when they are scheduled, that they get their home work assignments finished, etc. Each student will have their own 8′ table and chair in a taped off area of 10 sq ft. On Fridays when they do not have any online classes, we will have arts related teachers (visual, music, literary, drama, etc) there who will offer enrichment activities for the students. Each student will be expected to bring their own lunch, but a refrigerator and microwave will be available for their use.

There will be a charge for the service, comparable to what working parents are paying for child care service. We are pursuing grant and/or sponsorship funds to be able to provide scholarships for parents who are unable to afford the full weekly fee. If you are interested in sponsoring a student or contributing to a scholarship fund, please contact me at dgority@artsaltoona.org or give me a call at 814 932 2629.

The preliminary response has been very positive since the program has been announced. Anyone interested in receiving further information and/or an enrollment packet, please email us at info@artsaltoona.org or visit ArtsAltoona Learning Pods, on our web site.

Mark Your Calendar!

Please mark your calendar for Saturday, October 10 for a fun event we are calling ARTOBERFEST. It’s going to be a cross between a mini arts festival and an Octoberfest celebration. I will be sharing more info here as our plans are firmed up over the next few weeks. Please find the event on our ArtsAltoona Facebook page and share it with your friends and family. While you are looking at your calendar, if you have a Street Eats with a Side of Art event in there for either Wednesday, September 23 or Saturday, September 26, please delete those dates, we have decided to reconfigure and reschedule the event into becoming ARTOBERFEST.

Thanks for your interest in ArtsAltoona,
Donna Gority
Board President